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Mutants & Masterminds: Future Imperfect - For whom the bells toll (Juno)


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This is directly taken from SalmonMax's fiction Hanging by a hair

"Today marks a new sad end of an era as the last member of the famous New-York self proclaimed vigilante-group known as “The Supremacy” died..."

"Hey guys, knock it off for a second, I wanna hear this."

Habeeb and Feelies looked around from the old pinball machine they were trying to bang back into shape. Spread out over a good half of a previously abandoned sofa they'd reclaimed was Juno. Habeeb, who's real name was Rashid Hadim, shrugged at Marcus 'Feelies' Polk and put his screwdriver down. The two boys, both fifteen, turned from their interrupted work and watched their boss watch the news report.

Juno wasn't some street nickname. It was on her birth certificate and everything. She was the daughter of Hector Reyes, and was visibly Hispanic despite her mixed heritage. Her mom had been white as Wonder bread. Juno was good looking...but it was hard to say 'pretty.' Pretty was too effeminate, somehow. Even at seventeen she was beautiful, even gorgeous at her best, but never seemed particularly girly. Her physique was best described as 'sleek,' perhaps...muscles under just enough fat to give her some curves and not much to spare. She dressed casually, as often as not in a t-shirt or even tank top, jeans and either flipflops or steel-toed boots, depending on if she was looking for trouble that day. And yeah, sometimes the jeans were tight or low riding...and sometimes the tank top was a bit tight, but no one put the moves on Juno. There was a distance between her and the others. A difference. No one talked about it, but it was always there.

So when the news talked about a famous mutant dying of the 'Mutant Virus,' the other two kids in the room were quiet and uncomfortable as if Juno had been watching the wake of her grandmother.

When Six came sauntering in and gave Habeeb and Feelies a glare, the two quickly found other places to be. Six was the second in command of their little gang...though in truth, the 48th St Regulars were more like an anti-gang. Juno'd assembled them and led them to do what the cops were unable or unwilling to do; keep order in this little 2 block neighborhood deep in the low-rent slums of Las Vegas.

"Hey boss," was Six's greeting. He didn't sit down though. Always on the move, Six.

"Check this out," Juno replied without looking away from the fuzzy image of the newscast on the thirdhand (at best) 14" TV screen. Broadcast, no less. Even getting power to this address had been a pain. Cable would be ridiculous. "That guy from the superhero team died."

Six shrugged. "Sucks. You know him?"

Now Juno glanced over at him. Her eyes were dark brown, nearly black, deep and mysterious. Her expression was unreadable, but she leaned over and turned the TV off. "No," was her answer. "What's up?"

Now Six sat down. He was a black kid, sixteen, tall and slim and wiry; built for speed. His hair was an unruly shock of curls teased out into something that was probably supposed to be dreadlocks, but didn't quite make it. He wore a baggy knit cap most of the time. He had long fingers, pianist hands, and was crazily good with his hands.

"So what's the deal with the new kids?" he asked without preamble.

Juno turned to lean back against the sofa's armrest and half shifted her legs up onto the couch. From that position she could watch Six easily, and did so with a cagey smile.

"New kids? You mean Adrian and Becca? They're older than me, man."

Six shrugged, not wanting to split hairs. "Whatever. How long's he staying?"

"Why? He's working for his..."

"I know! I just..." Six scowled when Juno spread her arms in a shrug. "Me and some of the guys...we just think he's trouble."

Now Juno frowned. "Why? Has he done anything? Said anything?"

"No! But come on...some guy and a girl, all by themselves out in this part of town, moving around? You ask me, he's on the run. And as long as he's here, he's bringing whatever that is down on us."

Juno looked back at the TV for a moment. The thought had occurred to her too, but...

"Look...I'm not saying there's no risk, but...alright, look at it this way. How long's it been since we sent the Westsiders packing? Six months? Seven?"

Six shrugged. "Yeah, something like that."

"Let me tell you something about them. They've got something like two hundred people, and control pretty much everything from Fiftieth Street on down to the power plant. They've got cars...guns...and people. The only reason we're pulling this off is because they've also got the warehouses, and the Brotherhood wants them...so there's a war going on and they can't spare anyone to come get us when they stand to lose turf they actually care about. All right? With me?"

Six nodded, a touch sullenly. He liked to think the eviction of the Westsiders from the neighborhood had been a real David and Goliath thing. But he was too smart to really believe it.

"We've got maybe a year or two," Juno pressed, "before that war is over. And whoever wins it...either one...is going to take a few months to lick their wounds and finish the other one off...and then they will come for us." She tapped the seam on the inside of her thigh. "We have to be ready. And part of getting ready is getting more people."

Six got back up, off the couch, full of nervous energy. "Yeah, okay, but what if he's from the MIC? What if he's got the bug and gives it..." He caught himself and looked around before finishing more quietly, "gives it to you."

Juno hesitated, and he rushed into the gap by pointing at the TV and asking, "You want to wind up like captain superhero on the news there?"

"If he's from the MIC," Juno said quietly, "Then he's exactly the kind we need. Bug or no bug."


"I've already GOT it," she flared abruptly. "Okay? I don't have it bad yet, but...sometimes after I change, I feel...bad. It clears up. Most of the time I'm fine. And it doesn't even happen every time."

Six took a startled step back from Juno at that news. He even swayed for a second. It was like hearing she had AIDS. Or seeing her with a noose around her neck. "H...how long?" he whispered.

Juno was quiet for a moment. "I don't know," she finally said. "If I ask anyone official, they'll wonder why I'm asking...dad goes to jail for not registering me, and you can visit me at the Mutant Internment Center whenever you want."

"Shit, Juno."

"I know. So you see...we've gotta start getting more people, more shit...getting you guys ready to fight. Even if it's without me."

Six swallowed, but his throat was dry. Realizing how hard he'd been hit, Juno gave him a smile and got to her feet to deliver a hug. "Relax man. It's not bad. You'll have to deal with me for awhile yet, okay?"

His return hug was fierce, but brief. Once he disengaged he skipped back a step and asked, "So we're recruiting this Adrian guy?"

Juno shrugged. "We'll give him a place to rest and get food and water for him and his sister...a place to protect...and see what he does. In fact...where is he?"

Six shook his head. "Think he was outside."

"That narrows it down," Juno replies sarcastically, but with a smile. "Thanks."

Her lieutenant gave her a little bow. "Live to serve."

Juno brushed past him, intentionally bumping against his shoulder as she passed and muttering, good naturedly, "Asshole."

Six watched her go, grinning. The grin faded when he looked back at the TV and heard again in his head what he'd heard before Juno had turned it off...

Humanity has lost its last ‘true’ hero in a fight that seems to be futile. To this day science has failed to find anything that could stop the disease from spreading and eventually killing anyone with the mutant-gene.


Juno stared at the TV for a moment before she decided to switch it off but somehow she missed the button on the remote and instead she just changed the channel. Another Report was showing footage from the local MIC and it immediately caught her attention.

The Police has come in great numbers and obviously with reinforcements called in from neighbouring counties. A sizeable number of Mutants were pitted in what seemed to be a prelude to a riot against the Police forces. Big trucks with Waterguns were pushing away the masses while Policemen armed with Tonfas and Shields trying to bottleneck the Mutants into the MIC. A Helicopter was circling above the area and Juno could recognise the telltale signs of an impeding breakout. The masses were on the verge of turning into a stampeding Riot and since they weren’t far away from the MIC things could get really nasty in the neighborhood.

Juno glanced outside evaluating her options. They could watch the news and hope that things wouldn’t get from bad to worse or she could do something about it...
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The crawling feeling in her gut as Juno watched had nothing to do with the virus.

"Six!" she yelled. Just like that he was coming through the door, alarmed at the tone of her voice. She didn't give him time to ask questions.

"Get everyone together and send them back to their houses," Juno instructed, still watching the TV. "Tell them to get out with their families. Something big is going down."

"What is it?" Six asked, staring at the screen as well.

Juno nodded. "Not sure. Gonna find out. But get everyone and their folks clear, alright? If that breaks out, no telling how far it'll go." She shrugged. "I'll be back in a little while."

Six nodded gravely. "Don't take no chances."

"Who, me?" Juno grinned, and slipped out the door to pelt down the street toward the MIC.

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The gang was quickly assembled. Six had them on a short leash and their numbers weren't really huge. Within a few minutes they were on their way as Juno said while she investigated the MIC. Six didn't want to let her go alone but she quickly made clear that this was something she had to do on her own.

Six watched her disappear down the next block sighing. Would he ever bring up the courage to ask her out?

Juno had to slow down a little as she came closer to the MIC. Policemen were everywhere and what she saw made her stomach almost turn. What the cameras failed to capture where the extend of the injuries the brutal tactics the Police employed. A large number of Mutants had obviously given up, some of them obviously holding back because a loved one or a friend was in custody. Juno knew about the Registration Act but it didn't allow the Police and most importantly the Government to use such brutal force. Mutants were still considered humans and had rights. This was going too far - way too far.

Adapting her body to better mesh with the surroundings Juno camouflaged herself and climbed up a building to get a better view from an elevated position. There was a small number of Mutants fighting back and they were starting to use lethal force. It was just a question of time before someone would get really hurt or even worse, die...

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Not for the first time, Juno wondered to herself why she'd come out here. This fight was an open wound set to explode and squirt its nasty septic fluids all over Las Vegas. Which would be fine, except that her dad and all her friends lived here. But what was she supposed to do, really? Join the fight on either side and the cops would take her down too. And Class V or not, she was just one person. She wouldn't make a dent by herself, either way.

The smart thing to do would be to run home, get her dad, and get a room at the Motel Six by the airport for a day or two.

But the new kids. Had they gotten caught up in this?

She concentrated and felt the contents of her head shift slightly, behind her eyes and cheeks and in her nostrils. Abruptly the smells around her leapt into sharp relief, like a color seen only in twilight now having a floodlamp turned onto it. Smoke and gunpowder and fear-soaked sweat. Anger and fire and rubber. She smelled people. The police officers crouching behind their car a block ahead. The mutants rioting beyond. Juno took a deep breath, let it out, and sniffed deeply, looking for any hint of Adrian or Rebecca's scent.

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Juno had her eyes closed for the moment, focusing on her sense of smell while she tried to block out all other distracting impressions. It was a difficult task, there were way too much scents and extracting just one particular scent was both tiring and nigh impossible. The young mutant crouched a bit, assuming a more feral stance, like a prancing cat and concentrated even harder when an explosion violently broke her focus.

Disoriented for a moment Juno staggered backwards and looked up trying to locate from where the explosion came from. Her sense of smell was still highly sensitive and the sharp sting of fuel and smoke made her almost sick to the stomach. A second explosion followed by police sirens and something that sounded like the thuds of mortars or mortar like guns. The stench of teargas made her gag and she quickly shook her head reverting to her normal „human“ senses.

Wiping away some tears she robbed to the edge of the building and saw the extent of the explosion. A helicopter must’ve crashed, she had no idea how or why and shortly after the police started shooting at the mutants... and the mutants were fighting back.

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Juno stayed still, watching the rising column of smoke with wide eyes. She was aware things weren't just spiraling out of control anymore. Events had finally REACHED "out of control" status, and were proceeding to worsen. She had a ringside seat, but still had no idea what to do. It was easy to see what was going to happen though. The cops were panicking, opening fire with live ammo. They'd kill a few mutants...the ones vulnerable to that kind of firepower...and the others would kick on their full powers, believing this to be a fight for their lives. There would be a sudden turning of the tide, maybe enough to break the police line and let rioting mutants out. Maybe not. Either way, it would be messy. But then the Virus would start kicking in, and mutants would start dropping.

In the end, order would be restored...but it would be ugly. A lot of both sides would die. And public opinion on mutants would take a nosedive. Might even get as bad as Germany. Juno still remembered how things had been back there.

The mutants had to back down. The Virus made fighting back a losing tactic. Juno hated the thought of people being stuck in an MIC, but this wasn't the way out.

Problem was, the cops were long past talking. The mutants, by the look of them, also were not receptive to outside opinions. That said opinion was coming from a teenager probably wouldn't help.

She couldn't join the fight...not without revealing herself.

But maybe...

Juno crouched lower and scanned the street below. She needed a cop. Someone in uniform, and by themselves.

And about her size.

(Juno looks for a victim to facilitate a wardrobe change!)

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From the main force, roughly 20 man emerged and split up into groups of 2 starting to check the surrounding buildings for fugitives. All Juno needed was some patience and luck which fortunately was on her side.

The building she was standing on had two main entrances and the cops obviously decided to check each on their own which provided her with the opportunity she needed. As soon as her target went inside she jumped off the roof right behind the cop who only had time to turn around and look surprised at her. The young latina quickly overwhelmed him before he was able to call for his partner or even more important, for reinforcements.

Within a few minutes she had him stripped of his gear and uniform and put it on. It was still somewhat loose on her smaller frame but she quickly took care of that detail by bulking up which had the positive side-effect to even out her more female curves and granted her a rather neutral or male overall appearance. The helmet was specifically handy to keep her true identity hidden – now all she needed to do is take care of her ´partner´.

Part of her equipment was one of those new high powered tasers which could easily knock out a 300 pound linebacker. The other cop was already waiting outside and knocked on the door to check what was taking him so long. The door just opened wide enough for her to get a target and with the flick of her wrist she let the taser go and dropping the police man drop like a wet sack of rice. Juno made quick work of them dragging both prone bodies deeper into the building and then tying them up – someone would surely find them but she’d be long gone by then.

Juno stepped out of the building, to her right she saw a police anti-riot truck taking up speed and chase down an alley to the east. Just across she could see several pillars of smoke rising up. From the sounds and general panic around her this felt very much like a warzone...

Click to reveal..
Juno is fully equipped - riot-gear with protective breastplate, Helmet with Comlink and visor, tonfa and a sidearm.
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Without a clear plan on what to do, Juno decided to follow the riot truck. She pursued it down the alley, following its noise when it got far enough ahead that she couldn't see it anymore. Though it was hard not to, she consciously avoided changing her legs for more speed. Any watchers had to see her as normal human, at least for now.

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As she chased down the alley she saw the truck taking a sharp turn and hitting the breaks suddenly. It barely managed to avoid a crash against another truck, which from her point of view was already toppling over and spinning through the air before it hit the next building. Sirens went off behind her and she heard an ambulance and a fire truck speeding down the alley crossing hers behind her – they were both heading towards the center of the MIC. How was she supposed to make a change on her own? And where the fuck was Adrian and his sister? They knew they weren’t supposed to get any where near the MIC.

Juno turned around and headed towards the MIC watching the police war against the Mutants in the distance when a tan colored Dodge sped around the corner and almost rammed her. She caught a brief glimpse of the driver and passengers and was absolutely positive those were mutants...

Click to reveal..
I’m not entirely sure what your plan is and didn’t want to move you closer to the danger zone without knowing that is truly your intention, since it can get really nasty there. Please let me know if Juno is going for the riot (i. e. MIC) or follows the Van (which will require an Athletics roll vs. DC 18 to get on it)
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Juno paused at the car wreck, and the sirens, feeling more lost than before. She'd figured once she had a uniform she could just grab a bullhorn and walk out between the two armies and tell everyone to stop shooting in some inspiring, Morgan Freeman style monologue.

But there were no armies. No bullhorns. Just pandemonium and chaos.

Tires screeched behind her as a van pulled around the corner into her alley at speed. She got a glimpse of the people in the front seats...not cops, she was sure...then she was jumping out of the way. But if they're not cops, they must be mutants! Maybe I can do something! The van roared past, and Juno made a dash and grab for the back door's handle...hoping to geta grip and haul herself onto the bumper.

No such luck. Maybe it was the van's speed, or the riot gloves or just some bad luck...but she missed the mark and nearly fell flat on her face for her trouble.

Getting back to her feet, Juno realized that this whole thing was starting to suck.

She ran out of the alley in the direction the van had gone and tried to get a look at where it was going.

On sudden impulse she took the little CB radio thing that was clipped to a strap on the shoulder of her gear and held down the 'talk' button to parrot police-style chatter she'd heard on TV. "I have visual on a van, possible mutants inside, proceding east on..." she checked the street signs. "Church street. All available units respond. Over."

Juno grinned. That ought to send the cops on a wild goose chase, converging in the opposite direction the van was actually going in.

(OOC - I seriously have no plan. I'm completely playing it by ear. I'd like to get Juno involved with other players, so it'd be cool if she could somehow follow the van...but I rolled a 16 on InvisCastle so she couldn't hitch a ride. So...I'll think of something. :))

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She received several affirmatives from units that were dispatching which made her grin even broader. Unfortunately it didn’t last long – the van she was chasing suddenly hit the breaks and the engine died with a nasty sound. Juno wasn’t sure what they were up to but from her position she could see how the driver was obviously arguing with his co-pilot who was gesturing wildly.

The driver suddenly opened his door and got out walking around the front towards the passenger’s door. She could see how the co-pilot was trying to escape through the drivers door. Before he could reach it the driver – who was nearly 7 feet tall lifted the van up shaking it and then putting it down again rather roughly. The co-pilot was trying to calm the driver down who walked around back to the drivers seat managing to grasp his target and drag him out. The other guy helplessly struggled to escape the Bricks steely grasp and now she could hear their voices over the general noise of the city.

„I swear to god, Brick – it’s what she said. Here – you can talk to her personally, ok? Just put me down, I didn’t call you stupid, I said this chase was stupid – I didn’t mean you... mkay?“

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Brick? Really? Good thing he doesn't shoot pheremones or something, or he'd be called Fart.

Juno set off running towards the van, waving her hands to show she wasn't carrying a gun. "Hey!" she shouted. "You guys don't have time for that! You have to get moving!"

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Brick dropped his friend and pointed at Juno smiling like a little child. "Oh look, Steve, there's a Policeman... All by himself.", the argument obviously forgotten he made a few steps towards her shaking his arms and crqcking his knuckles.

"Wait! We've got to keep moving, Sam just radioed an update, the kids are gone. We've gotta roll, forget about the Police!", Steve yelled hoping to make Brick change his mind, who either didn't hear his friend or was too absorbed with the prospect of venting his anger on some official in Uniform.

Click to reveal..
I am not going to start an elaborate combat now. Brick obviously wants to play some with Police-Juno. We keep combat descriptive for now, Brick is no real tbreat to her, but annoying...
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"Police...oh, right." Juno undid the chin strap of her riot helmet and pulled the headgear off.

"Not a cop," she said as she got closer. "Just borrowed an outfit so I could get around without eating bullets. Are you guys escapees?" She nodded towards the pillar of smoke looming over the internment center.

Abruptly a huge hand grabbed her by the vest and hauled her into the air. Startled, Juno looked back at Brick, then down, then back up.

"It's a DISGUISE you moron!" she shouted.

Brick's grin never faltered. "Now you can be disguised as a CORPSE!" His other fist came whistling down, striking Juno squarely as he let go of her to allow the impact to drive her downward. And downward she went, hitting the street hard enough to puff dust out in a ring around her and dent the asphault.

The towering mutant dusted off his hands and stated to turn away...when Juno groaned and started getting up to her knees. She coughed and looked up at him.

"Okay, not bad...for a sucker punch," she said thickly as her vocal cords reknitted.

Brick turned back to face Juno, his expression dubious. "Tougher than you look."

"You have no idea."

With surprising speed for someone of his size, Brick rushed forward, reaching out to repeat his favorite tactic, grabbing someone to hold them stll before pummeling. Juno didn't even try to avoid him. For a second his fingers closed around her, but then he recoiled...opening his hand and jerking it back. The inside of his fingers and palms were dotted with puncture wounds oozing trickles of blood.

Sharp, bony spikes had extended out through the riot gear Juno wore, making her a painful pincushion to grab. The spines slid back into her as she stepped forward.

"You know, I actually helped you guys," she says. "I sent the police off the wrong way. If I'd known what colossal douches you were, I wouldn't have bothered."

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Brick looked at his bleeding hand in disbelief suddenly turning ash white as he stumbled backwards, „Oh... blood...“, he said weakly before his friend Steve managed to support him.

„Sorry `bout that“, he excused himself nodding at Juno. „He can’t see his own blood, makes him go weak in his knees. He’s like a big kid... Hey Brick, don’t worry, I’ll buy you some Ice-Cream once we get back ok?“

Steve guided him back towards the Van offering Juno to come with him.

„My name’s Steve and we’re not escapees...“, he seemed to try to find some explanation for him being around here and Juno could tell he was a bad liar.

„Well, we’re looking for friends, trying to get out of this mess. No one wants to go back there“, he nodded towards the MIC. Juno briefly glanced over her shoulder when a light caught her attention. It was faintly blueish first and then suddenly expanded in a globular shape. She instinctively shielded her eyes as she watched the `wave´approaching her – it looked as if somekind of bomb went off.

„Take cover!“, she yelled and grabbed Steve forcing him to his knees using her own body to shield him from whatever harm would hit them. Juno could feel the ground shake briefly, like a very short and intensive earthquake followed by an explosion that sounded very muted, as if she had gone deaf. She expected to get hurt but nothing happened then she slowly got up – the noises around her got silent for a moment, no police sirens no motor sounds from the neighboring street. As she looked up she could see the streetlights were all destroyed but she could not see any source for the damage. Her eyes instantly searched for the MIC and even the two helicopters which were circling above it were gone – but there was more smoke than before. The creepiest part was the lack of sound and for a moment she thought she’d gone deaf when she heard Steve moan.

„You are really tougher than you look... damn what happened?“, Steve reached for his headset and tapped on it. „Sam? Sam? Anyone? Hello?... oh shit.“

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"Yeah, but that wasn't a normal explosion," Juno said as she got back onto her feet and peeled her riot helmet off to look over at the MIC. "That was some weird shit, right there. It didn't really hit hard though. Hope it wasn't like...radiation or something, or we're in for a rough night."

"Weird how it got so quiet though, huh? Even the choppers are gone. No sirens or anything either. And check out the street lights."

She looked back at Steve, wondering suddenly why he wasn't responding. "Hey, what's the matter over there?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Steve stared at Juno and then at his headset. This was definitely unexpected and Steve didn't seem to be the type to improvise successfully in a stressful situation.

"It's dead...", he stuttered unable to hide the rising panic in his voice and specifically in his eyes.

"Boss, can you hear me? Anyone? Sam!!", Steve repeated but the headset remained silent. "We're screwed", he added as he realized what was going on.

Click to reveal..
Juno can put one and one together to come to the conclusion that something must've killed all electronics - probably an EMP which would explain the strange 'explosion'
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"Jesus, keep it together," Juno reproved the man as she got back in the van. "Does the van still work? Give it a try. We shouldn't sit still for long. Once the police get their bearings back they're gonna go apeshit. Not to mention there's gonna be a flood of pissed off mutants coming out of the MIC... Speaking of which, is that where your boss is? You boys trying to spring him?"

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"What?", Steve answered still staring at the headset.

"Van...", he repeated and got into the driver's seat but unfortunately the vehicle didn't want to start. "It's dead... damnit. What are we gonna do now?", Steve was half talking to himself.

"We gotta find those kids... Sam said we're close...", Steve looked back to Juno. "Can you help us? We're trying to rescue a boy and a girl. I'd show you a picture but even my fucking phone is dead.", he complaint but gave a relatively good description of Adrian and his sister.

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Juno frowned. "What are you looking for them for?" she demanded. "I KNOW them. They're not even IN the MIC. What do you and your boss want with them? Tell me that, or I'm leaving you both here. I'm not just dropping them into the hands of the first people who ask real nice."

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"I don't know much more, honestly. Only that the kids are really important - and I mean important as in 'Don't-fuck-this-up-important'. Something about saving us all. I'm not the brains of this, we're just trying to get them before the Government does. We're from the Mutant Underground", Steve answered hoping to not get Juno on the wrong side.

He saw how she simply took Brick's best shot - he wouldn't have survived it but she was unscathed, not even a scratch. From the top of his head he knew no other Mutant who could've taken that hit without at least having a nose-bleed or something.

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"Alright, look, we'll find them then you can explain yourself to them and we'll see what they want to do," Juno decided. "I'm not making up their minds for them. Still, first thing is to find them and make sure they're okay. I tried sniffing around before, but there's too much going on and they're too far off. Phones are down now too. Any ideas how to get to them?"

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„I’m not sure. Maybe we should head back to the base and see how they’re doing. I have no fucking clue what’s going on and the more time we spent out here the more we risk getting caught by the police. Sam surely will know what to do, maybe she found them while we’re still talking. We were only supposed to pick them up and take them to safety. The kids are really important, you know?“, Steve tried to explain. He was actually a nice guy, nothing like your usual thug or minion to stupidly follow someones command.

„The only problem is – the HQ is kinda secret... balls. Hey, you’re a mutant, right? And you don’t seem like one of those Government type goons. There should be an entrance not too far away and from there we’ll head towards the HQ. Are you... strong enough to pick up Brick? I’ll deal with the Boss once we’re there. She may kill me but I have no better idea. Maybe she’ll kill you too, though...“

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Juno laughed. "I haven't met anyone that can kill me yet. As for Brick, no problem. Where do you want him?"

She went outside and paused for a moment. The riot officer gear she was wearing started to puff up around the shoulders and arms, the seams straining, the straps binding. Juno groaned and gasped, suddenly finding it hard to breathe. "I knew I should've taken this thing off...okay!"

At her call Steve opened the van door. Juno lifted the unmoving Brick up and pushed him unceremoniously inside, then immediately shrank back to her normal proportions...wearing a now-baggy riot uniform.

"I'm starting to see why mutants in the old days wore spandex," Juno mutters, rubbing her abdomen as she gets in as well.

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Steve was about to move when he saw Juno placing Brick back into the Van. „Ahm... Sorry to disappoint you, but the Van is dead. Whatever that blast was, it killed the engine or whatever it requires to run. Unless you can fix it I suggest we go the old fashioned way.“, he pointed at his feet.

„I’d really help you with Brick if I could but I’m not nearly as strong as you are. That was really impressive. You’re like an inflatable... muscle... doll?“, he looked sheepishly at her and then smiled nervously suddenly afraid she could decide to pulverize him.

„There’s an entrance just a block away, then we have to continue underground, mkay?“

Fortunately Brick was slowly coming to with a moan. He looked around a little confused and then stared at Juno angrily. „You hurt me.“, he said with an accusatory undertone.

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Juno gave Steve a dry look at the 'inflatable muscle doll' comment, but he was saved from whatever she might have said by Brick's stirring accusation. Juno gave the giant an affable slap on the arm and pointed out, "Hey, I didn't force you to grab me. C'mon, get up, we're going...uh..." she glanced at Steve uncertainly. "Underground?"

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"Yeah - that's where the base is - under LV. Safest place for us, trust me.", he winked at her and nodded at Brick.

"Hey yo, big bro - come over it, we gotta go tell Sam things have gotten out of control here and by the looks of it things will be much worse soonish."

He smiled at Juno and looked her in the eyes, "Ready to go down the rabbit's hole?"

"Blue Pill or Red Pill?", Juno asked raising an eyebrow at him.

"Which was which?", Steve asked and then shook his head. "Anyway... just stay close. And we may have to blindfold you halfway.", he smiled a bit lopsided at that knowing that something like that didn't really earn much trust.

"It's for our safety - I'm sure once you talked to the Boss we'll sort it out. But you'll have at least an option to say you don't want anything of this, you know. The whole Resistance stuff and Rebellion.", he seemed to like the sound of it, as if he was speaking of the Rebel Alliance vs the evil Empire.

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"Resistance and rebellion," Juno repeats. She glances back at the tower of smoke hanging over the internment center.

"Looks like it's going real well so far."

Then with a shrug she added, "Alright, lead on. Just don't let someone see the police outfit and shoot first. If this Sam knows where Adrian and Rebecca are, that's worth some risk. Is he in charge? Sam? Same guy as the Boss?"

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Steve nodded first and put on a smirk on his face which quickly broke into a chuckle. He was kinda cute actually, maybe a bit confused but cute.

"Heh, yeah, Sam is the Boss... She'll want to talk to you, if you know the kids. At least I hope she will. And I hope she won't tear me a third nose hole, when we get there."

Steve let them to the next access point he knew, which was through e cellar of one of the older Las Vegas buildings. There was a direct connection through one wall to the underground but they rarely used it.

Juno was surprised at the expanse of the tunnels underneath, it took .at least half an hour of taking turns left and right before Steve kindly asked her to close her eyes and let him blindfold her. Reluctantly she agreed and then they moved on for another ten minutes or so.

Finally they arrived at their destination.

this story continues here: Quest

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